Thursday, December 31, 2009

Handmade Review Libertydoll on Artfire

Libertydoll  on Artfire has many things available in her shop.  She started out making just doll clothes, but has no expanded to jewelry, zipper pouches, banners, digi scrap kits and more.  She makes clothes for bab dolls 11" to 16" tall.  She offers many cute designs and cute fabrics and her prices are fantastic!  My two year old loves to dress up her Cabbage Patch Newborn baby in Libertydoll clothes!  She even offers a cloth diaper for babies.  My daughter kept getting mad that her baby doll's diapers kept coming off.  With a cloth diaper with velcro, problem solved. 

Not only is Libertydoll great at making doll clothes, but she's also a total sweetheart and great to work with.  I've requested custom items and she's made them for me. 

If you have a little girl or need a gift for a little girl, consider Libertydoll doll clothes.  Your little girl will have one of a kind clothes for her doll and you get a great price and support handmade.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Tips Getting The Most Out Of Your Cricut

The Circut isn't just for scrapbooking anymore!  This machine can cut chipboard, magnets, plastic, vinyl and more. 

You know those wall quotes that are insanely popular now?  You can cut your own with a Cricut.  All you need is vinyl and transfer tape.  You can even use contact paper in place of the vinyl (but it won't be repositionable!).  Vinyl can be purchase on Etsy or eBay.  Search for Cricut + Vinyl.

With the deep blade housing you can cut acrylic block into custom stamps or cut magnet materials.  You could design your own magnets for your Etsy shop or for your kids, scouts, or anything!  You can't make very intricate stamps, but basic shapes will cut.

The Cricut will cut chipboard for word albums or even home decorations.  Cut the chipboard and paper in the same shape and attach the paper to the chipboard for a decoration for a tree, wreath, or whatever. 

The Cricut will also cut thin plastic to make stencils.  Use the stencil for painting or for your kids' crafts.

You can also make a stencil out of contact paper or vinyl to use to etch or paint on glass.  Same technique as cutting vinyl and using transfer paper, but weed out the positive image rather than the negative.

Using paper you can create custom banners and signs for home parties, scouts, church or school. 

The Cricut isn't just for scrapbooking.  It's a big investment, but it can pay for itself time and again by using it for more than just scrapbooking and paper crafts. 
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Valentine's Day Paper Bag Album Kit

This album kit has enough embellishments to make a complete album or use your own embellishments to make a more elaborate album.



Includes:
♥1 paper bag tied with purple ribbon
♥12 sheets of 5"x5" paper
♥3 3"x3" pieces of patterned paper
♥5 5"x2" pieces of paper
♥2 5"x3.5" pieces of paper
♥5 embossed paper buttons
♥2 tags
♥11 die cuts
♥3 silk flowers
♥4 12" pieces of ribbon
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Tips Using Your Scrapbook Stash

I think almost all papercrafters and scrapbookers are hoarders and have to keep buying the latest and greatests products.  Here are some tips to get rid of your stash.

  1. Who says you have to use all one alpha for a title?  Mix em up! Gives it a great look and lets you use up some alpha you can't use by themselves.
  2. Missing a letter you need?  Think outside the box.  Turn an f into a t.  Turn an R into a P.  Make an e out of a c and what you cut off the R (or use a marker to make the line).  
  3. Organize your scraps.  I sort by color, but whatever works.  When I get way too many I make a patchwork background on cardstock.  
  4. Have a  piece of patterned paper you don't like?  I get those when I buy kits.  Flip it over and use it for white paper.
  5. Need a patterned paper you don't have?  Make it!  Use bleach and stamps, ink and stamps, chalk, whatever you have!  I cut a $ in plastic with my Cricut and used it as a stencil to ink and chalk it all over a sheet of cardstock.  Maybe it doesn't save much money, but it uses up something you have!
  6. Stay organized.  Do what works for you, but I use a file organizer from the dollar zone at Target to keep my stickers organized.  Baby, Boy, Girl, Spring/Summer, Fall, School, etc.  
  7. All of my Christmas papers and embellies are kept together.  I only use them once a year so they are out of the way and don't clutter up my other embellies and paper.
  8. Rather than buy it, learn to make it!  Use clear embossing powder to color brads.  Print your own quotes and sayings.  Consider a die cut machine.  It's expensive, but all I need is cardstock and my machine and I can make anything.
  9. When you come across the perfect quote or sticker in your stack for a page, store them with the photos so you don't forget when it's time to scrap that page.
  10. Go through your stash every so often.  I find that just dumping out all of one item and going through them will help refresh my memory and then I can use a small embellie when I would have forgotten about it the week before.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Favorites Penguins on Etsy

For my son who is penguin obsessed! Enjoy :)

(I have no idea why the Link Within is showing before my post, scroll down, sorry!)

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Angel SVG Free


Here is a cute little angel SVG file I made.  This is for use with the Sure Cuts a Lot software for the Cricut.  It is free for personal use and limited commercial use.  You may not sell this file or die cuts made with it, but you may use this file to make die cuts to put on cards, layouts, etc for sale.  Please do not share this file but feel free to share the link to my blog.  Please give credit where credit is due.  As always, I love photos of anything you make with my file.  You can post there here or upload them to Flickr

Angel SVG file
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Tips Eyelets and Brads

Raise your hand if you have too many eyelets and brads!

Yep, me too! 

I have to admit eyelets scared me a little at first.  I still prefer brads, but sometimes eyelets have the right look or I find decorative ones.  I found a great blog post with pics to help you set eyelets.  It's over at The Thrifty Scrapbook which is new to me but I can't wait to check it out.

When you find that you have entirely too many brads and eyelets, it's time to get extra creative to use them up.  Here are just a few quick ideas:
  1. Use brads or eyelets and ribbon to create a shoe with laces for tying your shoes or just to add some texture to a layout.
  2. Outline a shape on a page with eyelets or brads.  
  3. Attach vellum with brads or eyelets so the adhesive doesn't show through.
  4. If your LO seems a little boring, add 3 brads or eyelets to the side of photo or embellie.  I put them close together (total of 1/2"-1" length of brads).  
  5. Use to hang tags or sticker tags.
  6. Dot an i with a brad or eyelet.
  7. Make a cool center of a flower
  8. Use as a "hanger" to hang an embellie with ribbon (think a picture hanging on the wall with ribbon)
  9. Spell a word
  10. Accent the corner of a photo mat or journaling box
  11. Bullet points in a list
  12. Ornaments on a Christmas tree
  13. Create a border along a page
I'm sure there are more and I'd love to hear them.  I have entirely too many again.  I just can't stop buying them!  All kinds of shapes, colors, sizes, I must have them!


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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Evolving and Changing

This year I made a lot of changes to my shop to increase sales. There's a big difference between selling out and adapting. When you sell out, no matter how much sales increase you won't have fun. You're only going to have fun if you put your heart in it. If you adapt, your heart is still in it.

Product lines. I started my shop doing cards and premade albums. I <3 scrapbooking for my family. I could scrap all day long if my kids would let me! Premade albums seemed a natural choice to sell however, they didn't sell well. I also noticed that I don't enjoy making premade albums as much I enjoy scrapping for myself. So they got cut. What's left is on sale and I donated some to the school for holiday shop. I realized cards just weren't worth it by the time I photograph and list. If you love making cards and don't mind the listing process more power to you! I've seen some amazing handmade cards on Etsy. Truth be told, mine weren't as good as others and that's OK! The fun got sucked right out of it so that was the end.

Social Networking. I started Twitter and a Facebook fan page this year. I'm also working on my blog a lot more. I really enjoy Twitter, FB and blogging. This doesn't seem like "work" to me. If you hate it then don't do it. You can do other advertising. Yes I do get sales from Twitter but I really do enjoy getting to know my fellow artisans better.

Two shops down to one. I closed my Etsy photography shop this year. I was sad but it just wasn't working. Photography is a hard sell on Etsy as it is and with my main shop it was just too much. I don't like to think of it as giving up. I enjoy my paper crafts more than selling my photography. I just love photography for the sake of it and if I never sell another print I'll continue to do it. Maybe if I didn't have 2 toddlers at home all day I could do both, but right now I just can't devote the time to both.

Photos. I've been constantly working on photos since opening shop. I'm pretty happy with them right now. I can see how they've improved over year by going back to my old listings. I'm amazed I sold anything before LOL

New work space. I got a new workspace compliments of my wonderful hubby. It's not the prettiest, but it's very functional and I have everything where I need it. Well I did until the Christmas rush hit, but we won't go there.

Trends. Yep I hopped on the current trends! I found some adorable owl paper and made checkbook covers. Sold within 2 hours. Relisted and sold within 12 hours. Used the paper to make a recipe box. Sold within 12 hours. The next one lasted about as long. Did I make something I hated? Nope. I still enjoyed making it and maybe it wasn't my first choice, I knew it would be well recieved. I've made some things I thought were adorable and they sat and sat. It's still my style and my personal taste in the product so it's still me and still fun.

How has your business changed? How will it change next year?

I need to think of my goals for the coming year. Not necessarily numbers, but products, networking, advertising, etc.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Preparing for the Holiday Rush

The holiday rush has been called a myth on Etsy. This was my first year experiencing it because we moved last November and I did nothing to promote or advertise. I came in to this holiday season with no expectations but wanted to be prepared just in case.

During the slow summer I worked at increasing inventory. This can be a little depressing when sales just aren't coming in, but I managed to add about 100 items to my shop over the summer and early fall. It helped a lot. I didn't have to spend time during November and December creating much.

I printed extra address labels, do not bend labels and really small address labels. My die cuts go first class go first class so I need to take them to the post office. First class international get labels too. I printed 2 sheets and it was plenty. The do not bend stickers saved a lot of time too. The small labels were for customs slips. I asked at my PO if I could use a label and they said they keep that slip for 30 days so a label was fine. I pre labeled about 20 customs slips.

In August or September I placed an order for boxes and customs labels from the post office. Sometimes they take a few weeks so it's best to order these early. You'll use them eventually.

Promote, promote, promote all year long. All those hearts and all those past customers will come back to shop! I had a lot of Twitter sales and repeat sales for Christmas.

I hate to say it, but I trolled alchemy. I didn't bid on every single gift request, but I did bid on quite a few that I thought I could win. I won some and they led to larger orders. Yay!

I took out a Craftcult ad in November. These fill up fast and I got the carousel and not the sidebar I wanted but it still got me a lot of sales! Plan your ads early- August and September- to make sure you get the dates you want.

Stay organized! Before the rush I completely organized my inventory. I used clear plastic bags (my curtains came in them, but ziploc would work too) to separate like items. It has saved me a lot of time trying to find things.

I printed about 100 business cards and stamped about half and wrote in my coupon code and the thank you. When I need one I just grab it and it saves so much time while packing.

I never renew during the year but for the holidays I did renew if something had less than 2 weeks left anyway. I'm sure other categories have to renew to stay seen, I don't feel I have to.

Stock up on supplies. I do a mix of premade and make as they sell. I stocked up on checkbook covers, paper, and other things to make what I need to as it sells. I did run out of a few things and they will have to wait to be renewed.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Handmade Holiday Gifts Under $10

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Purple Buds Mousepad

Purple Buds mousepad
Purple Buds by kotibeth
Design mousepad online at zazzle.com
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My tin is featured

I will be so sad when this tin sells. It's in the Etsy gift guide which has gotten me some great traffic and it's got something like 28 hearts. Here it is featured again on Nikki Makes Scents gift guide for $10 and under. Great blog and great finds, check it out!
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Handmade Holiday Baby Gift Guide

Here are a collection of unique baby gifts for the holiday season. Thanks to all my Facebook fans and Twitter followers to help me pick items.



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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Teacher Gifts

Teachers are overworked and underpaid. Show your appreciation for a great teacher with these unique and affordable gifts.

Amy Butler jumbo paperclip. Use to hold notes, photos, pictures and more. Customizable with a name or school colors. $5.
Altered clipboards make great gifts for teachers. My son's teachers use a different clipboard to keep sets of papers organized. With an altered clipboard they can see at a glance which clipboard is which. Custom orders welcome. $15.





Altered clips are a cute way to keep papers organized. I offer sets of 6 without magnets and 4 with magnets. $3.

Align Center





Altered clips can be used to keep papers organized or use as a photo or note holder. $4




Teachers use a lot of sticky notes. Give your child's teacher a cute way to display them with this altered post it note holder and binder clip. $3.50.
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Succeeding on Etsy Photography

In order to have any success on Etsy, good photographs are a must. You can not expect to sell a stranger your widgets if the photographs don't show them off to the best your ability. The best SEO, the best tags, the best descriptions are all for naught if your photos are blurry or dark.

I am fortunate enough to have a hubby who spoils me rotten and got me a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR to play with. Would I buy one just for Etsy? No, not at my price point. If I were selling $100+ widgets then yes, I would seriously consider it. Selling $2-20 items, no, it's not worth it.

Wanna know the best kept Canon DSLR secret? The EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. Under $100. Regular price. Srsly. But, Cari, how great can it really be? It's amazing!! It's a plastic body so be careful with it. I've had mine for 10 months and it's been on my Rebel for about 90% of my shots. I take all of my product photography with that lens. The 1.8 gives me a great DoF. Yes the 1.4 would be better, but I can't complain at all.


The other important thing to remember is that you will need great light. Natural sunlight is best but only during the 2 hours after dawn and 2 hours before dusk. That's when the sunlight travels through all that atmosphere and gets filtered and gives a great natural glow without being harsh. It's best to have the sun behind you or to the side behind you.

Getting outside during peak hours isn't always possible. Enter the light box. There are many tutorials on Etsy to build one. You don't need an expensive one, just something to control the light. My hubby happens to be pretty handy so he made me a 15" cube with ceiling light tiles. I'm sorry, I bing-ed (is that a word yet?) and can't find a photo or link. It's the tiles that you install in drop down ceilings to filter the light. They came in huge sheets; something like 4x6 feet? It's textured and made of plastic. He made a cube by cutting those and using corner moulding for the edges. He just used silicon to adhere the moulding to the plastic. I then bought a 59 cent piece of posterboard and voila instant light box! Total cost was about $40 but if we'd have made it just a hair smaller we could have used one panel and saved $15+. It's lasted over a year.

I used to take the box outside or put it on my kitchen table in the afternoon (nap time) and open all the blinds in the bay window. This worked wonderfully! Now I have a portrait lamp because I do portrait photography. For a cheaper alternative to a portrait light, try the Ott lights. They are a natural looking bulb.

To finish my shots I use Photoshop. There are free things to use like GIMP, Picassa and more. I just happen to own an old version of Photoshop. I crop, resize, and adjust the levels to make the white really white.




Since I've improved my photography my sales have increased dramatically. If a buyer can't touch it and inspect it, you need to show all sides of your widget and show it the best way you know how.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Glitter Heart Die Cuts



These red heart die cuts are covered in fluffy glitter. Comes in a set of 8 but more are available. Available at Etsy or Artfire.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Handmade Holiday Contest

My contests are usually paper crafts related but for this one I'm doing anything! Paper, paint, crochet, fabric, metal- anything! As long as it's related to a winter holiday it's eligible.

The Rules:
  • For this contest you may submit anything to do with a winter holiday. Paper crafts, jewelry, ornament, decoration. Anything!
  • It does not have to be something brand new, but please keep it to only creations not entered in a contest previously.
  • All entries will be emailed to me at kotibeth@gmail.com and I will post them all at once so each entry is a surprise :)
  • You may solicite votes from your own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or however else you'd like to get votes.
  • Voting will last for one week.
  • In the case of a tie, I will make every effort to have two of the same prize, but there may be substitutions.
  • If you do not want to submit photos of your children, you may blur the faces of anyone in the photo.
  • You may submit more than one entry but only one photo will be displayed for each entry.

Yes there are prizes! If there are 2-5 entries the prize will be a $5 gift certificate to my Etsy or Artfire shop. If there are 6 or more entries (from different people) the prize will go up to a $10 gift certificate! Gift certificate can include shipping costs.

Entries due by December 5, 2009 and voting will last one week until December 12, 2009.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Angel Wings SVG File

Here are some angel wings I created to cut with Sure Cuts a Lot. These are for personal use or you may use the die cuts in a product for sale. You may not sell the file or just die cuts made from this file. If you do make something from this file, I'd love to see a picture :)

Angel Wings SVG
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Shop

Like many other school's, my son's elementary school is doing a holiday shop. The PTO gives the kids $1 each and many of the kids only have that dollar to shop with. How sad is that?? Our PTO asks for donations of crafts or anything else for the shop so the prices can stay low for the kids.

Last year I made some thing especially for the shop and they sold out. This year I'm pulling some albums and bookmarks that didn't sell from my shops and donating them.

I am also making bookmarks and bottlecap magnets with the school name and mascot on them. I'm looking for cheaper things I can make so I am able to donate 50+ of each item.

So if you have some inventory that just isn't moving or some supplies that are staring at you but you just aren't sure about putting them on Etsy, make up some quick cheap items and think about donating them to your elementary school. While I wouldn't put my logo on each item, I would include a few cards with the donation.

I ask for my stuff back if it doesn't sell and they set it out separately. Check with your school's PTO about their policies.
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Christmas Countdown Block

Someone tweeted this site and it's a great, easy idea and except for the blocks all of us paper crafters should have the supplies.

These are soooo cute! I was just at the craft store and saw some nice sturdy hollow (light) blocks. I picked them up, held them for a minute, and put them down because I didn't have a use for them. Ugh!
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday Favorites

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Free Fall Leaves SVG Files


I created these for an order and I won't be listing them for sale so I'll share them. Note the file name in the photo and that's the file to download.

These files are for use with the Sure Cuts a Lot software for the Cricut.

These are for personal and limited commercial use only. You may make items for sale with these files, but please do note sell the file or die cuts made from these files. If you do make something personal or for sale, I'd love a comment here just to see it. Please do not share the file itself but feel free to link anyone here. By downloaded my files you agree to these terms.

Maple Leaf
Fall Leaf
Oak Leaf
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday Tips Keeping Shipping Costs Low

I'm going to take another break from scrapbooking tips and do a post on general business tips again.

When I am buying online, shipping price in a very important factor. I do understand that what I'm charged is the shipping cost plus extra expenses such as labels, tape, envelopes, and whatnot. However, I don't like to be charged $10 and see $1.50 in shipping! Yes I agreed to it and no I won't neg the seller, but I won't be back.

I try to keep my shipping costs very affordable and close to what I really pay. Of course with different shipping zones and package sizes sometimes I am over a little bit, but other times I'm less. Really with the time saved it all works out even if I do have to pay extra.

In an effort to upsell, I keep my combined shipping low. Yes sometimes I do eat a little bit of the cost, but if it helps me sell more die cuts or paper packs then it's worth it. If it keeps my customer happy it's well worth losing a few cents.

I recycle and reuse most of my packaging. I get boxes from anyone I can and reuse bubble mailers. A friend's company changed logos and they were going to throw away about 200 huge envelopes. I snagged them and they lasted me an entire year! I cut the logo off and taped the edge over itself and they were custom fit to my packages. I know some say food boxes are a no no, but I got some jewelry in a turned inside out cereal box and it was sewn shut. It totally fit her indie shop and I didn't mind one bit. It was creative and saving the earth. Obviously dirty boxes or boxes that have touched food might make some people skeevish so use your best judgement.

Unfortunately I do need bubble mailers more than I get them to recycle. We have a discount store here locally and I look ever time for 10 for $1 and buy all they have. I haven't seen them in a while so I ordered a bunch of little things from Etsy to restock. Kidding! Maybe... I'm going to have to break down and order from uline.com but I'm going to post on the Etsy forums and/or Craigslist to try to find someone to split shipping with me. Preferably more than one person so we really save.

Tape is a huDge expense for me, both packing tape and the scotch tape. I was buying Target brand tape for $1 each in packs of 4 but it went up to $3-4 per roll! Holy crap, is it made of crude oil now? I tried Dollar Tree tape and it was more hassle than it was worth. I went back to Target and staring right at me is a super genaric brand that's distributed in MN (where Tar-jay is) but is $4 for 4 rolls plus a free tape gun. Jackpot! So far so good, thicker than the $ store tape. I also found some of the same uber genaric tape to sub for scotch tape. It was 49 cents a roll! 49 cents! I use it to tape my labels on the package bc I'm too cheap to get stickers. Ok- stickers are on my (long) list. Until then, this tape works great.

So there you go, all of my secrets to keep costs low. Please add more if you've got em.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Flower Altered Clips


I love these clips! I used a funky pattern on the clip and attached a chipboard flower covered in a coordinating pink pattern to the front. These have a magnet strip on the back. They are great for home or office. Use to hold pictures or papers on the fridge or a filing cabinet. You can also use to keep food bags shut. Great stocking stuffer or coworker gift.

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Contest Cancelled

Unfortunately the contest is cancelled. No entries this time. Is a week too short? Was the theme too specific?

I might do a Winter one before the holidays. It would be all encompassing for all December holidays or just winter.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Favorites

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Handmade Review - Soap Deli Handmade Soap

I've heard wonderful things about Soap Deli handmade soaps and I finally got the opportunity to try them. I picked up three bars from her Artfire Studio I still had a little bit of shower gel I wanted to use up before winter starts and my skin gets dry so the bars sat on the counter for about week but every time I walked by I just had to pick one up and smell it! Yum! I couldn't even pick a favorite, I had to peel the plastic wrap off of each of the 3 bars to smell them all.

I hate to admit it, but it's been years since I've used a handmade bar of soap. I used to make bath and body products (not CP or HP soap though, unfortunately) and I knew handmade soap beats store bought or body wash hands down. I just got out of the habit of using it for a while I guess. This soap is rock hard and solid. I just started using it, but with proper care I think it will last a long time and completely offset the higher cost.

Of course, the higher cost of handmade soap is always worth it because you are supported a real person and not a large chain. It's only a few extra dollars for a little bit of daily luxury. Really, what better way to enjoy a few bucks?

This week I started using it and oh. my. goodness. It's amazing! My skin gets so dry I use a medicated cream every 8 hours in the winter to stop from clawing myself up and this has made my skin so soft and so silky. I seriously noticed a difference from one use! I'm sure I'll still have to use some type of lotion this winter but hopefully it will something great smelling and not medicated.

Not only is her soap great, but Rebecca is also a great person and very supportive on Twitter, Facebook and byHand.me.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Navagation Summary in Google Analytics

I just discovered this and I can see how this is going to be a huge help with my blog and Etsy site. I like being able to see where and how my visitors go and browse my sites. It helps me with tagging, rearrange your shop, and to see what catches people's eyes.

You'll want to click these images to get them bigger, but on the left side below Dashboard click on Content.
Then click on Content by Title. This is good to look at anyway because you can see at a glance what is popular. Then click on the title of the page that you want to see the navigational summary for.

Then in the drop down menu select Navigational Summary.

On the next page you'll see the links that refer to your site and their percentages of link with arrows to the current page and then arrows to exit pages.

Pretty cool, huh? Now you can follow your visitors right through your blog or website and see what's working and what's not.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Give Thanks Scrapbooking Contest

After I will announce the theme you'll have one week to submit your entries. After the entries are submitted I will open up voting. Right now it will be popular vote by visitors. The winner will receive a related to theme. Or not. Maybe I'll shake things up and offer something totally new!

First the rules:
  • For this contest you may submit anything to do with paper crafts. A scrapbook page, card, altered tin, altered clipboard, anything altered, basically anything that is at least 75% covered with paper.
  • It does not have to be something brand new, but please keep it to only creations not entered in a contest previously.
  • All entries will be emailed to me at kotibeth@gmail.com and I will post them all at once so each entry is a surprise :)
  • You may solicite votes from your own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or however else you'd like to get votes.
  • Voting will last for one week.
  • In the case of a tie, I will make every effort to have two of the same prize, but there may be substitutions.
  • If you do not want to submit photos of your children, you may blur the faces of anyone in the photo.
  • You may submit more than one entry but only one photo will be displayed for each entry.
The theme this time is
GIVE THANKS

Remember it can be a layout, card, mini album, anything as long as it's saying that you are thankful or what you are thankful for. It does not have to be Thanksgiving or fall related. I've done thankful layouts of my kids with hearts or flowers and nothing to do with Thanksgiving.

Entries due Sunday the 15th by 11:59 PM.

Prizes (and these will get better as the contests get more popular):






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Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Favorites Artfire Edition

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

ladybug svg


Here is a lady bug svg file to cut with your Cricut and Sure Cuts a Lot. This file is for personal use and limited commercial use. You may not sell this file or die cuts made from this file, but you may use it in products that you sell. If you do sell a product with this file, I'd love to take a peek at it :)

Please do not share this file, but do feel free to share the link.

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Cupcake Fine Art Photograph

I took this photo months ago and finally got around to playing with it a little in Photoshop to get it ready for sale. I will definitely be making birthday cards out of this print so look for those soon. I may even get this printed for my daughter's room. I can't wait to see it on the Kodak Metallic paper!

Right now this is only available at Artfire but will be at Zazzle soon and the notecards will be in my Etsy shop.
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Handmade Review Sugarflower at Etsy

I picked up this adorable pinafore for my 2 year old daughter from Sugar Flower on Etsy. This dress is so cute and it's reversible so it's like getting two dresses in one! It's very well made and a great quality. She even gave me a free matching hair clippie.

If you need a holiday or birthday gift for a little girl, check these out. Her prices are very reasonable especially considering this can be worn all year round depending on what you put underneath it.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Splendor Candy Dish or Decoration


I just reduced the price of this cute altered tin again today. If you need a hostess gift, fill this with wrapped candy or put on your desk with candy and your co workers will love you :)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winner of the Fall Contest!

Thank you so much to the entrants of my contest. Thank you also for tweeting, blogging and getting the word out.

It was close, but the winner is Jennifer from Live Teach Create! Congrats Jennifer. Email me your address and I'll get your prizes out to you this week.
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Tuesday Tips - Decorating With Paper Crafts

Sometimes finding ideas of home decorating with paper can be challenging. Paper doesn't exactly make the best medium for a sturdy decoration you can use year after year. If you are anything like me, you have tons of extra things and now is a perfect time to use it. I'm mainly focusing on things that can be used for the holidays, but we are a creative bunch so I'm sure we can adapt these to use any time of the year.

(Sorry I'm not posting pics, but I don't want to steal the pics of these original designs.)

A wreath made of paper? Yep! This one is being used as a centerpiece with a candle inside. Great pics and great instuctions over at the Pesto Classroom blog.

Next is an advent calendar but these aren't just for Christmas anymore. Use to count down days left of school or make a countdown for any holiday. I've even seen a countdown till Daddy gets home from the military. Here's one on bhg.com I got in a newsletter today.

Here is another take on a paper wreath at acherryontop.com. This happens to be a Halloween wreath, but it could be made for any holiday. This is definitely on my list of things to make.

Here is a banner from acherryontop.com. Again, it's Halloween, but could be for anything. I prefer 4" scalloped circles, but the triangles are much easier if you don't have a die cut machine.

Check out these adorable flowers also from acherryontop.com. I can see these for spring, Thanksgiving, Christmas or just about anything! I might make these in a vase for above my kitchen cabinets.

There are lots of pdf file at KaiserCraft for ornaments or garland. There are too many to list individually, but I am definitely doing some of these for general decorating! Those little globe balls would be adorable in a large glass container as a center piece for my dining room.

If you have more links, please share them! If you do any of these please share pictures. I love getting inspiration from others.
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Use code HALLOWEEN to save 31% on all prints in my Artfire studio! This offer expires tonight at midnight so hurry.
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Dreaming of Etsy

I must be on Etsy way too much! I actually had a dream about Etsy last night. In my dream I used Craftcult to check my views and they jumped by 100+ and it was 2 after the hour so I looked on the FP and there I was! Except it wasn't my handmade item. It was a shirt I own ROFL!

I was being greedy and didn't want to lose my FP exposure so I went into my current listings and tried to find it to edit the price to be insanely high so no one would buy it. But I couldn't find it because of the rearrange your shop so I had no idea what page it would be on. I tried to open Firefox to use Etsy Hacks to use the edit button on the listing but my phone was ringing and the kids were bugging me and my husband walked in and kept talking to me. I couldn't edit it and freaked out that someone would buy it! Then I had the brilliant idea I would rip the lace off of it and add more to the bottom and then it would be altered enough to be listed on Etsy. I kept checking Craftcult and my views kept jumping so I was really scared it would sell.

Then I woke up to the kids bugging me LOL

This would probably make more sense if I sold clothes or anything sewn but I sell papercrafts. *scratches head*


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Friday, October 30, 2009

Sweet Stack Paper Bag Album Kit

This kit has over 50 pieces! You can use just this kit or add your own embellishments for a very elaborate album. This is great for a brand new scrapper or someone who scraps a lot. Make to give as a gift or keep for yourself.
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Friday Favorites Cute Halloween on Etsy

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Handmade Review The Hobby Room on Artfire

I picked up this adorable beanie from The Hobby Room on Artfire last week. The flower is just adorable and it's detachable so you can use it as a hair bow and mix and match bows on the beanie. How cool is that? This beanie will fit a one year old and it stretches to fit your child for years. At $10 (and up) for this beanie and flower clippie is a great buy, but knowing it can be used for more than one year makes it an amazing value.

Not only is this beanie just adorable, but Andrea is also a total sweetie. We've been talking on Etsy and Artfire for a while now and I've bought from her before.

So head on over to The Hobby Room and check it out. With her "Crafter's ADD" you never know what you'll find.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Success on Etsy - Forums Tuesday Tips

A few weeks ago I did general tips for Etsy and Artfire. It was well received on Twitter and in the comments so I'd like to expand upon those points in the following weeks. I still don't really feel like I've been around long enough to be giving advice, but after a little over a year and almost 750 sales I guess I am on my way to being an Etsy old timer.

My first tip was about the forums at Etsy and Artfire.
Read the forums. Not only are there great people there, but there's a wealth of information there. Use the search bar at the top and you'll discover even more. All those guides for Etsy success? I'd be willing to bet there isn't a single thing in there that can't be found in the forums. You'll learn about tools to help your shop you never knew existed. Not sure about a picture or price? Visit the critique section. It's really not as scary as it sounds, promise!
How do you use the forums to help your business? There's the obvious of reading posts and learning, learning, learning! Learn what people are saying about best times to list, renew, if renewing is worth it, new features of the site, and things of this nature. If it weren't for the forums it would be almost impossible to keep up with all of Artfire's new developments!

Sellers are buyers too so get in there and make yourself known. 99.2% of the community is wonderful and very helpful. The rest are snarky and weren't hugged enough as a child. They feed on the drama and making others feel inferior. Try to participate in a discussion and offer help and congratulations when necessary. I try to be very upbeat, positive and supportive in the forums. Not to help my business, although I certainly don't want to create a negative image, but because it really is a community. If you are nice and offer help, when you need help it will be there for you.

In the Etc sections it can get controversial. I stay away from it. Far, far away! (Note: there are many successful sellers that love it and meet great people. It's just not my thing.) Especially during the elections artist's strong beliefs were known and I can't help but get a negative connotation about their shop based upon comments. I don't mean to, really. When I'm a buyer I don't care if the person is Republican or Democrat or Independent or whatever. But when a seller is very vocal about something I am personally strongly against, I just can't let it go. Please don't think that I think everyone has to agree with me. I'm talking about the ones that were very vocal and very negative about those that disagreed.

Some people say never change your avatar. Others say to change it. Use a product picture. Use a cute animal photo. Use your own picture. I don't think there's a real definite answer, but the popular opinion seems to be artist pics are nice to put a face with the product. If you do show a product and it sells, please replace the photo. I do change mine about once a month. I have people say that they came to my shop just because of my avatar photo.

Search on the Etsy forums seems to be a deep dark secret. Up on the search bar you can drop down to post or title. If you use this you don't run the risk of posting the same thing over and over again, but you'll get your answer immediately.

Don't forget that forum posts are very, very rarely deleted. So before you call someone a cotton headed ninny muggins, do you want your customers to pull that up in a Google search in 3 years? Don't say anything you don't want posted right in your shop announcement.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Operation Write Home

My cub scout pack is making cards for the soldiers tonight as a craft. Someone on Twitter mentioned Operation Write Home which is a site that accepts handmade cards to distribute to soldiers.

Unfortunately the deadline for Christmas is November 1st. If I had known I would have posted this much earlier!

However, even a thinking of you or thank you card is welcome any time!

I have a special offer for all of my great readers and customers. If you make a card (or cards) for the soldiers and email me a photo I will take 20% off your next order from my Etsy or Artfire shops.

The only thing I ask is that you try to place your order within a week of emailing me the photo(s) so I don't get confused with who is who :) I will let my awesome customers do this once every 2 months until further notice.
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Fall Papercrafts Contest Poll

Sorry it's late but here is the voting for the fall papercrafts contest.

  • Only one vote per person
  • You may solicit votes from Twitter, Facebook, your blog, email, or however you'd like
  • Voting ends November 2, 2009 at 11:59 PM
  • Winner will be contacted by email. If I do not receive a response within a week, the second place winner will be contacted for the prize.
  • In the case of a tie, every effort will be made to have 2 prizes but there may be substitutions

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Favorites

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Key Tag svg file


For a tutorial on how to fuse plastic bags, head on over to Etsy and watch the video. It's super easy and who doesn't have hundreds of plastic bags lying around, right?

I ran them through my Cricut to see if it would cut it and it cut great! I can't remember what settings but I almost always start with blade 3, pressure medium to start and adjust from there. If I remember correctly, I kept it at 3/3 but you might need to play.

My hubby needed some key tags to mark keys for the storage box so I grabbed my new fused plastic and cut them out of there. A regular pen will smudge but a Sharpie wrote on them great. The plastic is thin and flexible but very strong.

This file is for personal use only. Please don't share my file, but you may send the link to this site. It can not be used for any commercial reasons without prior consent.



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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review Blog Graphics

I got a face life for my blog a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier with the service and new graphics. LifesMomentsCaptured on Artfire created the banner and buttons and so much more! In fact, I still haven't had time to put everything up. She gave me tons and tons of graphics. I never imagined a more perfect blog banner!

I was very please with her communication, professionalism and speed of creation. Most importantly the graphics are amazing!

Keep checking back, I'm getting those graphics up slowly but surely :)
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Orchid SVG File

I had a request for an orchid die cut and it was hard to find a good view to get a decent silhouette and bloom. I created this and wanted to share. It would be good for spring or Easter pages. They aren't to scale when you import them into SCAL. Open the whole flower and size. Open the bloom and size over top of the whole flower then delete the whole flower svg. Maybe one of these days I'll learn how to make them to size lol

Feel free to use this image in your personal creations and you may use it for items for sale. You may not post the svg files on your blog or website for free or personal use. You may link to my blog. You may use the die cut in an item for sale but you may not sell the die cut themselves. Thank you for respecting the time it took me to make the file.


(This is for use with the Sure Cuts a Lot software)
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Tuesday Tips - Organizing Photos


If you haven't been keeping up with organizing your photos it can be a daunting task. It might even be too overwhelming to start, but don't let that discourage you. It needs done and putting it off won't help. Don't feel like you have to do it all at one sitting or even in one month. It might be on going project for several months and that's ok as long as it gets done. Don't even think of it as work, think of it as talking a walk down memory lane. This can even be a project for you and your husband in the evenings or even while watching TV.


First you need some storage boxes.


These are normally $4 at Jo Ann's but you can find them at Target and other places. If you do buy at J's don't forget to use a coupon or watch for a sale. I've gotten mine as low as $2 at J's for plain ones. I used scrapbook paper to decorate them. These boxes are much less intimidating than a photo album and cheaper. If you decide to use albums, I would start with at least a few of these. You can always reuse them later.

Use a sticky note or otherwise label them by year and start sorting. Don't worry about what month of that year it is and if you can't remember what year it is just guess. Don't even worry about scrapping just sort.

If you don't have a lot of photos you might want to use one box for 2-3 years. When you see how many photos you have and the boxes start to fill where you can stand up the photos you can use dividers and get them organized a little better with tabbed dividers.

If this is a project that takes you a while then be sure to start keeping organized from this moment on. Every time you get pictures printed put them in the right box.

But how do I organize for scrapping?

I use the Power Sort Mini Box from Creative Memories because it was in my consultant kit back in the day. It came with dividers and it's the perfect size for me. There are other options out there and you can even use the cardstock envelopes your photos come to you in to organize until you find something you like.

I used to get doubles to scrap but I was filling photo albums soooo fast! Really, who needs to 5 different pictures of the same thing? So now I get 1 copy unless it's a very important event. If I truly love the photo I get a 5x7 for the scrapbook.

When I get my order back I separate what to scrap and what to file in albums. Then I put the photos in their slots in my Power Sort Mini Box. I do one section for each child, 1 for me and hubby/family and 1 for Christmas because I keep a separate Christmas album.

I don't keep them in any particular order in there because I might take pics from different times and places for one page.

If a photo sits in the box for a while and I'm just not getting any inspiration, it goes in the back for a mini album to send to Grandma or my aunt out of town. That way I'm not wasting and they get a fun surprise.

If I'm going through my stash of stickers and other embellies, if I find the perfect quote for a photo I will store that with the photo. I hate finding the perfect quote after I've scrapped the page!

I hope these tips help. If you have more tips, please post them. Remember to have fun with this and don't think of it as a chore. Also remember to get organized from this point forward and work your way back.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Scrapbooking Contest - Fall

Entries due Saturday October 24, 2009.

I'm going to start hosting two paper crafts contests a month. You have one week to submit your entries. After the entries are submitted I will open up voting. Right now it will be popular vote by visitors. The winner will receive a related to theme. Or not. Maybe I'll shake things up and offer something totally new!

Some weeks I may even have a special offer on a paper pack or die cut set for my contest participants and challenge you to use them.

The rules:
  1. For this contest you may submit anything to do with paper crafts. A scrapbook page, card, altered tin, altered clipboard, anything altered, basically anything that is at least 75% covered with paper.
  2. It does not have to be something brand new, but please keep it to only creations not entered in a contest previously.
  3. All entries will be emailed to me at kotibeth@gmail.comand I will post them all at once so each entry is a surprise :) You may also send me the Etsy or Artfire link.
  4. You may solicite votes from your own blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or however else you'd like to get votes.
  5. Voting will last for one week.
  6. In the case of a tie, I will make every effort to have two of the same prize, but there may be substitutions.
  7. If you do not want to submit photos of your children, you may blur the faces of anyone in the photo.
Theme: Fall

Prizes:

You can click the photos for more details about the prizes.
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Friday Favorites

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Review Chamomile and Green Tea Eye Potion

As a die hard Estee Lauder fan, I was very hesitant to buy this type of product online. Estee Lauder puts years and millions into testing, how can this beat that?

I don't know how, but it does beat Estee. Hands down! This chamomile and green tea eye cream is from lilithsapothecary. I opted for the sample size which at $6 is a steal. I only use this on my eyes and it's lasted nearly 5 months! I use every night. It's light and airy so there's no pull on your skin. It keeps the eye area soft and supple and I haven't noticed any new lines since I started using it. I will definitely be back for the larger size!


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DIY Christmas Card Making Kit

This kit contains enough embellies to make 10 cards! Use just the kit and adhesive for 10 basic cards or use some of your own supplies for elaborate cards.
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Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday Tips - Succeeding on Etsy

There are shops with many more sales than I have and most have done it in less time. I'm not an expert on Etsy by any means, but I have learned a few things about the site in the last year and a half.

Read the forums. Not only are there great people there, but there's a wealth of information there. Use the search bar at the top and you'll discover even more. All those guides for Etsy success? I'd be willing to bet there isn't a single thing in there that can't be found in the forums. You'll learn about tools to help your shop you never knew existed. Not sure about a picture or price? Visit the critique section. It's really not as scary as it sounds, promise!

Pictures, pictures, pictures. I can't stress this enough. You need great photos to be successful on any online venue. Buyers are not going to buy from you if they can't see the widget properly. If you have great photos you are saying you are a professional business and people should buy from you. You don't need a DSLR or an expensive light box. Search the forums for cheap light box instructions and get to know your camera's macro setting. Sunlight is free and the best light but OTT lights work well (or so I hear in the forums).

Some say renewing works and some say it doesn't. Pay attention to what the seller sells before you jump on the bandwagon. Those 20 cent renewals can add up quickly! Do a search for your items and see how far back they are. I noticed my altered clipboards were about 3 months in and I searched and found myself on pages 3 and 4. I'm not going to renew because a buyer will most likely go back that far. If you are on page 421 then renewing might be an option for you. If you do decide to renew to increase sales, use GA to keep track of views and treat it like a real experiment. Then decide if it helps your business.

Keep your fees low. Again, those 20 cents add up! I'm not saying to do fee avoidance because that's not cool. Etsy has earned your 20 cents and FVFs and it's still a great bargain to be able to sell your widgets. I'm just saying to spend those 20 cents wisely. If I have a buyer that wants a custom order and I know they want X, Y and Z I will make a new listing with everything in one spot. I save 20 cents for each extra widget they order. If I am offering 5 widgets in a single listing and someone convos me and wants 10, I edit the original and link them to that. When I relist it shows back up at the top. Now I just said renewing doesn't always work, but this free so what's to lose?

Lastly, what works for one shop may not work for others. I get sales from Twitter, others don't. Others get gobs of sales from Facebook. I don't (at least that I know of). Experiment, play, and have fun determining what works for you.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Handmade Review Mylittle at Etsy


I purchased this adorable doll for my daughter last year from Mylittle. It was so hard to chose just one doll, they are all so cute and so unique! This one is named Macy and she's absolutely adorable.

The dolls are a little smaller and skinnier than most baby dolls which made it easier for my 1 year old to carry and love on. My daughter is now 2 and her dolls suffer some serious abuse at her and her older brothers' hands! This doll has held up great without so much as a single thread coming loose.

This doll has been through hours of rough play and "fed" in the high chair, carried in a baby carrier for little girls, shoved in a backpack, thrown at her brothers and more and she still looks as good as new.

If you have a little girl on your holiday shopping list, head on over to Mylittle, you won't be disappointed in the selection nor in the quality of the doll.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tips - Scrapbooking Tools



Or rather unconventional tools. My husband and I are the king and queen of farmer fixin'. He's the guy that build my entire deck and flower beds with nothing more than a chainsaw to cut the wood. I think he did it just for the shock value and bragging rights, but I digress.

My favorite unconventional tool is my plastic putty knife. Cheap, only $1 or so, and it works wonderfully to smooth out any little air bubbles when using mod podge. I also use it to lift things off my Cricut mat or to really press down paper that's being adhered to something else.
Ok so an embossing stylus is for papercrafts, but I never use it to emboss. I use it to help me weed the extra off of my Cricut mat. The round tip won't tear the paper but will scrape the extra away from your die cut. I also use it to poke the itty bitty pieces out of the middle of a die cut. It works great to score paper for a cutting line if you don't have a pencil handy. I can lay a piece of paper against something and run the stylus over it and make the impression to cut when I need to cut around something that sticks out (handle, latch). I sometimes use it to hold a button or lace in place after gluing so I don't get my fingers sticky.

I don't iron. Ever. My mother in law insisted I needed an ironing board and it took up space and gathered dust in my laundry room for years. Then I had a brilliant idea! When I was working I needed a place to put things that were waiting to dry. Just a temporary spot I could set up behind my desk so I could just turn around. Ta da! The ironing board did come in handy after all!



Mine are pretty purple, but I do have two milk crates for storage. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $50+ on paper storage. $50 buys a lot of embellies! I picked up 2 milk crafts for $5 (total) and I use one for paper and the other for extra albums, page protectors, chipboard, and other tall things. I use clear plastic 13x13 envelopes to keep each paper set separate and organized. This helps the paper stand up and...uh...I have so much crammed it there it would stand up regardless.

Do you repurpose tools other items for your crafts? Let me know, I'd love to hear the ideas.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Home on the Range

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The Shabby Shop Soy Tarts

A while back I purchased some tarts from A Shabby Shop on Etsy. I had a question before I ordered and the seller replied promptly and was very nice. My order shipped within 24 hours which wasn't necessary but I really did appreciate.

I chose Carmelized Praline tarts and wow! This scent is a-ma-zing! Just the right amount of sweetness but yet a strong hot and cold throw. I can get just under 2 tea lights off of one tart, but I tend to have mine burning for an hour or so before I have to put it out. I think if you let it burn continuously it might last a full two tea lights but I can't be sure about that.

Her packaging, as seen in the second photo in the link above, was adorable! Very cute, very shabby pink and brown polka dots.

I will be buying from A Shabby Shop again. Please check her out, you won't regret it.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

About Me

Koti Beth Designs was named after my daughter, Dakota Elizabeth. My kids are the reason I scrapbook and my inspiration so it was only fitting to name my business after my daughter.

I started scrapping when my oldest was a baby in 2002. I knew these days would go by fast and I wanted to save every moment. What started out as a hobby has turned into an obsession. I love to create and alter everything I can. My house is filled with altered treasures I've made and my kids have album after album chronicling their lives.

I know some people just don't want to take the time to scrap but do want albums for their kids. That's why I started out making premade albums. My business has expanded to altered tins, altered clipboards, scrapbooking kits, die cuts, paper packs, and whatever else I decide to create when the creativity bug strikes.

I have been married to a wonderful man who lets me buy as much scrapbooking stuff that I can hide *grin* He is relatively supportive of my obsession hobby because as I put it, I either scrap or I'm a psycho witch. He'd rather I scrap a few nights a week :)

We have three beautiful children. Two boys ages 7 and 3 and our little Princess just turned 2. We also have a cat, Lucifer aka Luie, who is the best squirrel dog my husband has ever had.

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Scrappin Tips Tuesday

We all hit a creative block once in a while and need some inspiration. In scrapping, when you get inspiration from another scrapper it's called CASE (copy and selectively edit) or scraplifting. In the general scrapping community it's considered acceptable so long as you credit the original source.

For my shop, I have to be very careful about new ideas and copying but in my personal scrapping I do use other sites for inspiration. Here are some of my favorites.

A Scrappy Place. Unfortunately this site hasn't been updated recently, but it still has many sketches organized by number of pictures and a section for two pagers. I like sketches because it gives you a general starting point but you still need to decide on color schemes and embellishments. You can use Google to search for other sketch sites- there are a lot out there!

Scrapjazz.com Gallery. This one doesn't seem to be as popular as other galleries but I think it's a wealth of information. If you select the layouts tab you can select cute, funny, beautiful and other options. I have a folder in my pictures folder and I save the ones I'd like to use for inspiration in my personal layouts. This way I can browse as I have time and when I'm ready to scrap I don't spend all of my time browsing.

Splitcoaststampers. I don't stamp much (I opted for a die cutter so I don't buy many stamps to justify the cost and I'm limited on space) but this is a wealth of information for techniques, tips, and inspiration. The resources are wonderful for new techniques and finding new ways to use old tools and products.

Well there are my deep dark scrapping secrets. If you have more sites you love and get inspiration please leave a comment, I'd love to check them out!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Favorites

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Getting Started Scrapbooking

I wanted to scrapbook for a year before I actually started. I had wandered down the scrapbooking aisles at the store staring wide eyed at all the tools and gadgets and could feel my husbands wallet crying for mercy. At that time, I couldn't afford to spend a lot of money to get started. When I did finally get started, I was on a serious budget. I didn't buy unless it was a deal and I knew I'd use it. I'm still pretty frugal when I scrap, but I do splurge a little bit now and then.

Only buy tools that you can use a lot. Yes that baby feet punch is adorable but how many times will you use it? When I stared the only punch I had was the corner adorner by Creative Memories. This is one of the few tools you can use on almost every page without them looking the same.

You'll need a good paper trimmer. I started out with the mini one from Creative Memories but then upgraded to a 12x12 style. I wore out the big one and replaced it with a rotary trimmer. Before you freak out at the price, I chop up a LOT of paper and chipboard. I needed the refill blade style. The one I had before that was around $10-$15 at Office Max (their brand) and would have lasted a lifetime for the average scrapper. You need one with a ruler grid and a sharp blade. You don't need anything fancy. I lasted with my little one for a few years before I got the 12x12.

Buy paper in packs to save money or wait for Jo Anne's 6/96 cents sale on open stock. Then when you do need a special paper from your local scrap store (LSS) you can splurge on that special sheet.

Alphas can get expensive! I always looked for deals on alpha stickers before I got my Cricut. I also bought vellum title packs by DCWV to save on alphas.

Think outside the box! Just because something is sold for one thing, doesn't mean you can't use it for something else. You don't need expensive ribbon just for scrapbooking. Buy the spools for 50 cents in the basic colors. Use your scissors to chop up stickers and other embellies to make just what you need.

Save all your scraps. You never know when you might need that itty bitty piece of paper. Pattern on one side? Turn it over and use the white side.

Adhesive is a must, obviously. You can use a glue stick, but I find that it doesn't hold photos well. It is, however, great for adhering paper to paper. I use a tape runner for holding photos. Just a 1/4 inch or so on each corner is all you need. I use the Creative Memories tape runner but you can find them at Jo Anne's, Micheals and the dollar store. A little really goes a long way and I think this is the cheapest option.

Buy kits. Kits are wonderful because they coordinate and are almost always cheaper than buying individually. What you have left over can be used on another project. Target has a lot of kits available lately.

I hope this helps you get started scrapping. I'd love some more tips in the comments if you can think of something I've forgotten.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Using Leftover Letter Stickers

Before I got my die cut machine I had a huDge folder with partial alphas. No matter how many popular letters you get, you're always left with about 1/2 the sheet with obscure letters that are in none of your kids' names and you have no use for! So what do you do?

Need an r but have 10 ps left? Turn that p into an r with just a few cuts. Save that little extra you cut off, it can transform a c into an e. I've even used a marker to transform a letter into another one and no one was the wiser.

Make a ransom note title. Mix up those letters and use them from a bunch of different alpha sets. You can do this word by word or mix up the letters within the words. Either way looks great!

The easiest way to use up all those extra Zs is on a layout of a sleeping subject.

Doing a layout of your child reading or practicing handwriting? Use a solid paper and use up your alphas creating a background.

Use your o, O, 0 and 8 to make the base for an embellishment with brads, buttons, flowers or whatever you have on hand.

If you have more ideas I'd love to hear them or see some examples. I still have a large folder of 1/2 used alphas and now that I have my die cut machine it collects too much dust.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Christmas Presents

Like last year, I'm going to try to get as much of my holiday shopping done on Etsy and Artfire. I have a few things I've favorited, but I still need ideas. My husband is so hard to shop for as it is. If he wants it, he goes and gets it. I do have a few ideas from Etsy that I think he'll really like.

The kids will get a few plastic toys, but doll clothes and some toys will come from Etsy. Last year their Baby Pop capes were a huDge hit and the the thing they play with the most! My 3 year old lived in his for a few weeks LoL
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Happy Birthday To Me

I won't say how old I am, but if you tell me Happy Birthday in notes to seller I'll refund 29%! I've never run a sale this big and I'm kinda scared so take advantage because it might not happen again. I defintely won't admit my age next year :)

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Christmas Card Making Kit

Do you want to make your own Christmas cards but don't know where to start? Or maybe you have a few supplies but need the cards and more papers and great embellies? Available in my Etsy shop for $10.Includes:

15 cardstock card blanks 4"x5" (5 red, 5 green, 5 white)
15 envelopes
16 one inch sticker seals (or use as decorations)
10 paper embossed buttons
4 white die cut snowflakes
5 pieces of 12" ribbon
9 piece sticker sheet
3 white scallop squares
4 green scallop circles
2 white scallop circles
20 sheets of Christmas paper
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Friday, August 28, 2009

New gift tags



New scalloped tags available in my Etsy and Artfire shops. Set of ten for $3. More available upon request.
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Friday Favorites Back to School Edition

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chipboard and more chipboard!

My supplier changed their color of chipboard from brown to white! It cuts better in my machine and it's glossy on one side, matte on the other. I'm liking it so far! Available at Etsy or Artfire!

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